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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Cone-rod dystrophy

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What is cone-rod dystrophy?

How might cone-rod dystrophy be treated?

What is cone-rod dystrophy?

Cone-rod dystrophies (CRDs) are a group of inherited eye disorders that affect both the cone and rod cells of the retina (photosenstitive receptor cells).[1] In contrast to rod-cone dystrophies, individuals experience deterioration of the cone cells more severely than the rod cells. Initial signs and symptoms typically include decreased visual acuity when looking straight ahead (central vision loss); loss of color perception; and an abnormal sensitivity to light (photophobia). These signs are usually followed by progressive loss of peripheral vision and night blindness.[2] Most cases occur due to mutations in any one of several genes, and CRDs can be inherited as autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, X-linked or mitochondrial (maternally-inherited) traits.[1] CRDs are usually non-syndromic, but they may also be part of several syndromes. Currently, there is no therapy that stops progression of the disease or restores vision; management aims at slowing the process, treating complications and helping individuals cope with the social and psychological impact of blindness.[2]
Last updated: 5/23/2011

How might cone-rod dystrophy be treated?

Currently, there is no therapy that stops the evolution of cone-rod dystrophy or restores vision. There are a few treatment options, such as light avoidance and the use of low-vision aids that may help to slow down the degenerative process. It is important that people with cone-rod dystrophy recieve support and resources to help them cope with the social and psychological impact of vision loss.[2]
Last updated: 6/2/2011

  1. Cone Dystrophy. NORD. 2010; Accessed 6/19/2013.
  2. C. Hamel. Cone rod dystrophy. Orphanet. February 2007; Accessed 5/22/2011.